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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  September 22, 2010 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

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here. white house officials say the infighting over the afghanistan war strategy were well-known at the time but "obama's wars" portrays a more intense struggle than previously known. it reports at one point when the kent gone came back and again asked for more troops to implement the strategy the president erupted and said "i'm done doing this. we all agreed on a plan and all going to stick to that plan. i haven't agreed to anything beyond that." he then tried to ensure that the pentagon did not reinterpret his decision by dictating a six-page single-spaced terms sheet explicitly laying out his troop order and objectives and that classified document is even included in the book's appendix. woodward has it all. nbc's mike viqueira is outside the white house. we covered all of this, knew it was a long internal struggle. >> reporter: right. >> they said so at the time but this indicates a lot of frictions and frictions that might have implications for what goes on going forward. >> reporter: you're absolutely right, and a lot of people turned this palace intrigue
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during that long process that lasted over the course of the second half of last year, you're absolutely right, in the basement of the west wing here in the situation room time after time i think it was nine meetings all together lasting two and three hours. the president hashing out that afghanistan policy and they're in the middle of that process again one year after the president announced that 30,000 troop surge in afghanistan, that was in november, that was 10,000 fewer than general mcchrystal asked for but a lot of people in the pentagon had been pushing the president to do and now we learn that a lot of china got broken during that palace intrigue, andrea, people back and forth at each other and got to a personal level if you really get into the juicy parts of bob woodward's book, andrea. >> one of the new revelations and we know bob woodward has, for 30, 40 years covered the intelligence and the military communities. he's very well sourced there and he did interview the president and vice president. >> reporter: yes, he did. >> the secretary of state all the players went on the record,
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thought it was better to cooperate than not cooperate. he reports that the covert war in afghanistan is 3,000 men strong, the cia, people on the ground in afghanistan. that is new. >> right. >> also reporting about hamid karzai, our so-called ally, the leader of afghanistan that he is officially manic depressive, has been on and off his meds, and they never know which hamid karzai will show up for a meeting. >> reporter: that would explain a great deal of the counter tips going back and forth between the obama administration. james jones, national securitier adviser on a flight to afghanistan briefing reporters who had disparaging things to say about hamid karzai and the left of corruption in afghanistan, after the president was on the ground the surprise visit over one weekend the president made to afghanistan, the white house certainly dialed that back a great deal but some of this is just too good to pass up. we've got it related here, first of all the frustration that the president had feeling the military boxed him in on that
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40,000 troop level, and the need that he felt for an exit strategy led him to proclaim according to this book to lindsay fwra ham "i can't lose the whole democratic party" and that's one of the criticisms they're getting at the white house, there was too much politics involved in the decision-making process. >> exactly and to that point, thank you so much, mike viqueira. the book grapples with how the president was trying to walk the tight rope between the military's demands for more troops and growing opposition from the democratic base to the war in afghanistan and setting a withdrawal timetable as mike pointed out said to senator graham "i can't let this be a war without end and i can't lose the whole democratic party." joining now a man with political experience writing tell-alls, the coauthor of "game change" john heileman. there are more details from the point where game change ends, when they went into this afghan
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reviews. the military trying to box in the president. rahm emanuel is saying it's "b.s." that between the chairman and petraeus, everybody's come out and publicly endorsed the notion of more troops. the president hasn't even had a chance." this really gets to the rift between the white house and the military, which has a lot of implications as the war goes forward. >> it does, and you know, it's been clear for some time, andrea, as you know, you covered this closely, that this was, not to take anything away from bob's book, he puts an incredible amount of meat on the skeleton we knew but we've known for awhile about the fight. the white house in many respects thinks this is a good portrait, him standing up to the military and being strong and allowing a lot of internal debate in contrast to what a lot of democrats in the white house see as having been a much too rubber stamp process in terms of foreign policy in the bush administration, obama gets criticized for allowing this amount of dissention but they'll say we had an open and frank
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debate. the president decided and stood up for what he wanted and pushed back against some of the most powerful players in the military. >> some players might be leaving soon. my reporting is that some of these major players might be leaving and you see some of the way these rifts develop along the way. mr. biden for instance calling richard holbrooke "the most e egotistical bastard i've ever met." reported elsewhere "there are too many senior aides around the president, they're like water bugs, they flit around" so that's jim jones calling the political side water bugs. general petraeus calling david axelrod a "complete spin doctor." one wonders whether petraeus can be open in this book and not face the consequences that others have faced previously when generals in the military crossed the white house. >> yeah, i mean the one thing
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that helps general petraeus is the fact that david axelrod's position is a little bit vulnerable, one question people have asked in the past and will ask again in the context of bob woodward's book is why is david axelrod involved in the meetings in the first place? why does he have a relationship with david petraeus? he's a political person in charge of the president's message. it's not necessarily my position but some will say that. a couple of other examples you gave, jim jones you are exactly right there's not a lot of love loss between a lot of the people in the white house staff and general jones, not that they dislike him, but they feel as though he's been a little bit of a disappointment as national security adviser and then joe biden, calling dick holbrook egotist egotistical, andrea you know that's not a unique perception of ambassador holbrook although it usually doesn't come with the profanity attached that joe biden put on there. >> love him or not, i don't think dick holbrook, excuse me,
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richard holbrooke would say he's not egotistical. >> that's true he's accomplished a lot. >> thank you very much, indeed. thanks so much, john. this is causing a lot of waves in washington but there are other things going on in washington today as washington digests bob woodward's secrets, homeland security secretary janet napolitano told a senate committee the evolving terror threat is making it increasingly harder for the united states to detect and disrupt plots especially against the homeland. senator joe lieberman joins us now. senator, thanks so much. what is the level of threat to the homeland as it was described by janet napolitano? what are your concerns and how well do you think they're doing to guard against it? >> right, good to be with you again. >> you, too. >> this was our third annual hearing on the evolving nature of the terrorist threat o our
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homeland, and what we're doing about it and we look back at the year past, it's clear from all the information we have that the pace of attacks against our homeland has increased that more of the attacks are coming from organizations that are loosely connected to al qaeda but are not al qaeda and that more and more american citizens are part of those attacks, so that the war with the islamic extremists and terrorists that is global is being brought by our enemy much more here at home and it's a warning to the american people, i'd say the agencies before us, homeland security, fbi, national counterterrorism center, and all of the people who work for them are doing an extraordinarily good job in trying to meet this changing threat. i say one more word about how it's changing. what we saw over the last year is more and more individual -- individuals, abdulmutallab, the
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christmas day bomber, shahzad, the bomber in times square, people coming in on their own, trying to do damage to us as opposed to the very sophisticated, organized and deadly 9/11 attack itself. so the threat changes and so do our defenses, and there's no alternative but to stay ahead of this enemy, which is real and at us every day. >> in staying ahealed of the enemy, do we have to have some concerns about the national security team as described in excruciating detail, if you're in the white house, by bob woodward? we're talking about people who don't respect each other, who have harsh words for each other, who don't necessarily get along. what is your level of concern today? >> okay, well that's obviously a different topic. i read the news stories about bob woodward's book. i guess i'd say two things. one is this is certainly not the first white house in which everybody has not gotten along perfectly but my impression is
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that the kind of debates that are being described here that occurred within the administration around the president's review of our policy in afghanistan last year and his ultimate decision to stick with it, to succeed, that they're over, and we've now got general david petraeus in charge. he's widely respected, and i think the team is functioning very effectively so i think a lot of the stories about afghanistan told in the book are really outdated, they're fascinating but they're outdated. >> one of the stories is the former head of national intelligence, dennis blair, admiral blair saying on the issue that you were discussing that with radicals, he's warning the president in one of his briefings that radicals with european passports, trained in pakistan to attack the homeland and rahm emanuel chastises him "you're trying to put this on us so it's not your fault." is there some sense between the political side of the white house and the intelligence side that the intelligence guys were
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trying to cover their rear ends? >> well, of course i don't know about the truthfulness of that exchange, but you know i have respect for both of those individuals. i thought admiral blair was a straight talker and did a good job and rahm emanuel is a friend of mine for a long time and a good person, but look the reality is they are coming at us from abroad, and from right here in the u.s., affected by the internet, which radicalizes them. so we've got to have our defenses up, and ultimately, of course, the president has to, and i'm confident this president does rely on the professionals, the people in the top national security positions, secretary gates, secretary clinton, people like the direct yore of national intelligence, to make the policy decisions he makes in our national interests. >> what about woodward reporting that hamid karzai is actually manic depressed and they worry about whether he's on or off his medicines. doesn't this make it more
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complicated to win a war in afghanistan when our ally is not reliable? >> you know, again, i don't know about the truthfulness of that. this kind of comment in public that really doesn't help anything. president karzai is a very able man. he is by far the most nationally unifying figure in afghanistan. he's got some interest to advocate on behalf of his people in his country. we don't always agree with him, but you know, in my own personal dealings with him, have i ever seen any indication of what's described here, no. >> quickly, senator, reports in woodward's book that we have as many as 3,000 cia agents or officers, men and women on the ground in afghanistan. that is a much larger covert force than the american people know. is it appropriate for us to have that kind of a covert war going on without any kind of oversight, public oversight? >> well i don't think i should
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say anything that either validates or invalidates what bob woodward said there. i will tell you this that to meet this enemy, the islamic extremist enemy to stop them from attacking us here at home, in homeland security our witnesses said we have to defeat them in afghanistan, yemen and somalia, we need the u.s. military, the intelligence community, and the department of state and they're working pretty well together now. we lost some cia employees not so long ago. >> indeed we did. >> over in afghanistan, and to me, whatever the number is, those there are putting their lives on the line for us, so we ought to honor them. i do. >> and we do as well, and that's a very good point indeed. well-taken, thank you very much, senator lieberman. >> thank you. >> 380 pages of bob woodward to digest, it's not out yet but we
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found our copy and i can tell you it's pretty interesting reading. >> i look forward to it. >> thanks, senator. >> take care, see you. still ahead we'll talk to homeland security secretary janet napolitano on the rising terror threat against the homeland from the administration standpoint. next can peace talks survive a big deadline this coming weekend? a top israeli official direct from the talks at the united nations joining us here. send me your thoughts, find me on twitter. i was always the hat guy. i can't even tell you how much it's changed my life. [ male announcer ] only rogaine is proven to regrow hair in 85% of guys. no more hats. [ male announcer ] stop losing. start gaining.
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the white house is hiring, looking for its next economic star to replace larry summers and his depleted team. politico's white house editor craig gordon joins us now. this is a big loss, even though a lot of people may have found, you know, some friction with larry summers and certainly
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austin goolsby, new head of the economic council, didn't always get along that well. larry summers is unique in the economic firmament. what are they going to do next? >> try hard to hire a female ceo to come in. >> that's not an economist. >> sorry? >> that's a very different model, that's not an economist. >> that's right. >> to try to answer some of the criticisms in the business community. >> right, i think this gives obama a chance to hit the reset button on the personnel and the policy on his economic side, taking a lot of heat for being anti-business, a charge the white house really hates and really feels is kind of unfair but it's a perception out there and i think they want to try to use this position to rebut that, again, they have got a little bit of a problem, their top four economic positions, treasury secretary, omb and such are filled with white males. some of the folks in the democratic party are saying it's time to diversify at the top.
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you might be able to bring in someone if you're barack obama to answer the charges and try to move forward after the midterms with kind of as i say a new team and perhaps a new policy. >> we've seen christina roemer leave and peter orszag the omb director to are replaced by jack lu from the state department and jack lu has had that job before could be a real star, a real major layplayer once he gets one job. at the same time they've got a lot of jobs to fill. let's talk about some of the names you at politico have been looking at. if it is someone at the ceo world who are you hearing about? >> ann mulcahey, ex-ceo at xerox, current ceo of xerox also a woman as well and there is a person that the census bureau, again, sort of a top level official there, so there are -- >> rebecca blank. >> that's correct. there are several names already. these are the names the white house floated last night, they want to kind of put out the story a little bit that they're
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going to be looking hard in the ranks, female business executive, people with disexperience will see what comes down the track here, laura tyson's name is heard as well, jared bernstein, the vice president's economist, obviously he is a white male, doesn't fit the model. they have a lot of names to pick from. much as they were under pressure for the elilz beth warren pick for the consumer financial protection board to try to mix it up, gender diversity and maybe ideological diversity. obama has taken a lot of heat the geithner and summers' of the world are wall street guys. november look at new folks. >> ann mulcahey is a super star at xerox and that was the first female-to-female ceo handoff to ursula burns, ursula has only been in that role for a year. ann mulcahey had din we are valerie jarret the other night. that would be an interesting choice.
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coming up next, big insurers doing it again, reaction from maryland, congressman elijah cummings next here on "andrea mitchell reports." [ animals calling ] ♪ [ pop ] [ man ] ♪ well, we get along ♪ yeah, we really do - ♪ and there's nothing wrong - [ bird squawks ] ♪ with what i feel for you ♪ i could hang around till the leaves are brown and the summer's gone ♪ [ announcer ] when you're not worried about potential dangers, the world can be a far less threatening place. take the scary out of life with travelers insurance...
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with some of the health care laws most popular provisions said to take effect tomorrow the white house is touting its achievements. >> we are now actually able to provide some help to the american people that will take effect tomorrow, is the most important patient's bill of rights that we've ever seen in our history. >> but will americans really feel a change in their health care? maryland congressman elijah cummings joins us from the capit capitol. good to see you. >> good to be with you. >> let's talk about what's changing. we've drilled down a little bit on this, september 23rd, the big day, six months, children are no longer going to be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, young adults will be allowed to stay on their
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parents' plan until they turn 26. plans must cover certain preventative services free of charge. we talk about all this yet at the same time we're told and the "l.a. times" has a story today that insurance companies in the future are going to stop selling insurance for kids, because they don't want to, they're trying to get around this requirement that children with preexisting conditions have to be covered. they are already trying to basically screw the public. what can you do about that in congress? >> i was upset to hear about that. keep in mind those companies, i think it's four of them, are talking about doing away with this insurance for new policies in certain states, not all states. but i think the congress is going to have to act instead of doing what our republican friends are saying that they'll do, that is pretty much repeal health reform, health care reform, what we've got to do is
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address this and make it better. we've got to address those issues that those insurance companies are concerned about, and secretary is sebelius has b meeting with at least one of those companies trying to figure out how to address these issues, and i believe that we can work that out. we can't turn our back on our children, andrea, we just can't do that. >> we're talking 500,000 children who might be covered. >> i know. >> you talk about a few states but one is california so you're talking about a lot of children. >> a lot of children and don't get me wrong i'm not trying to minimize it. >> i understand. >> andrea, i keep hearing the media say that perhaps democrats should turn away from health care and not talk about it. let me tell you, everywhere i go i'm going to talk about it because i think that's the most important thing that i have done since i've been in public life over 30 years. i mean we're talking about saving people's lives. keep in mind that on 9/11, we lost about 4,000 people and
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rightfully so, we mourn their deaths. we've got 45,000 people every year dying, and what are we going to turn our backs on them? is one life less valuable than another? we can do better and i think the democrats have to stand up and be democrats, and we have to lead. sometimes you have to explain to people what we see every day, and that is people who cannot get well because they do not have health insurance, period. >> but congressman in your district, that works. that works for you, but you are not in an endangered district. we've got glenn nye, second district in virginia not even describing himself as a democrat in his campaign commercials and isn't mentioning health care so you are in a minority in terms of people, members of congress seeking re-election as you all are. >> i knew you were going to say that. >> you're smarter than i am, sir. >> just this morning, a few hours ago i spoke to a pretty conservative group of folks, and when i explained to them the
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fact that america is better than to leave our sick dying, or to leave them unable to get well, i ended up getting a standing ovation and these were not your super super liberal folks, and what i'm saying to you is that i'm glad the president is getting out there and talking about this legislation, because it is very important legislation, and i get tired of people saying that we did not address the issue of jobs. keep in mind, andrea, before the president even got into office, the first thing he said was that we were going to do the recovery bill, and he wanted it on his desk a few days after he got into office and it took awhile, but again, we are on the right track. are we getting there as fast as i would like to see us? no. but the fact is, is that we are moving in the right direction, and we simply cannot afford to go backwards, period. >> elijah cummings always great to see you. thanks so much. >> great to see you. and still ahead, homeland security secretary janet napolitano, send me your
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thoughts, find me on twitt twitter @mitchellreports. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. my name is vonetta, and i suffer from allergies. [ male announcer ] we asked zyrtec® users what they love about their allergy relief, and what it lets them do. the thing i love most about zyrtec® is that it allows me to be outside. [ male announcer ] we bet you'll love zyrtec®, too -- or it's free. [ vonetta ] it is countdown to marshmallow time. [ woman laughs ] [ male announcer ] ever have morning pain slow you down? introducing bayer am, an extra strength pain reliever with alertness aid to fight fatigue. so get up and get goin'! with new bayer am.
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with new bayer am. words alone aren't enough. our job is to listen and find ways to help workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. we'll keep restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion independently-run claims fund. i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. i'm gonna be here until we make this right.
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topping the headlines right here on "andrea mitchell reports" facing lawsuits at home, the head of the company that caused a massive egg recall across the country testified before congress today. they took heat from a house committee saying that the egg company was given numerous warnings but still brought "horrific experiences upon consumers." a current and former officials, eight current and former officials in bell, california, are heading to court today charged with gouging constituents to the tune of $5.5 million. a city manager alone was earning more than $800,000. that in a bankrupt state. and potentially good news for the 33 trapped miners in chile. rescue crews are ahead of schedule with the first drill
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and expected to possibly reach them by mid-october, instead of by christmas. next week msnbc and the networks of nbc universal are focusing intensively on how to improve america's classrooms. "education nation" kicks off this sunday at noon eastern with brian williams hosting a town hall with teachers, sunday night, joe scarborough and mika brzezinski will host a documentary "waiting for superman" and monday, president obama sits down with "today's" matt lauer for a live one on one interview that will air uninterrupted for an entire half hour starting at 8:00 eastern right here on nbc, msnbc, and cnbc. then join us at 1:00 live from the plaza, our guests that day will include education secretary arne duncan, american federation of teachers president, randy weingarten, boston mayor thomas
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me kn menino and "newsweek's" jonathan alter and "the washington post's" jay matthews. violence erupted in israel today after a guard shot and killed a palestinian man accused of throwing stones at jewish settlers. rioting broke out during the man's funeral that spread to the compound surrounding the al aqsa mosque. it comes as peace talks hang in the balance. the head of israel's plan to end the moratorium on settlement construction coming up this sunday. danny ayland is former israeli ambassador to the u.s. good to see you. >> always a pleasure to be with you. >> we've seen the violence of this just another example, you've had problems erupting over the course of the last week or so as the peace talks resume. what is the intention of
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israel's government regarding the moratorium which expires on the 26th coming up this weekend? >> the intention of the israeli government is to continue the negotiations with the palestinians without interruptions, without threats of walking out by anyone, without pre-conditions. >> what about the moratorium? the palestinians have said if the moratorium expires that they will walk out. >> then there should be international pressure on the palestinians not to walk out. we've had the moratorium for ten months' period as a gesture, it was a downpayment that we have been asked to do. now, they say we want another downpayment, this is extortion. look what happened, andrea, in the last ten months, nine and a half months the palestinians said this moratorium is not real, is not serious, this is why we did not engage -- >> mr. minister, let me grant you for argument's sake that they took a long time to get to the talks, that for ten months you had this moratorium but now you're in the talks, you're engaged, at the united nation,
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the so-called quartet, the europeans, russians, tony blair, the secretary of state, you've all been meeting so why not keep it going, why not let the moratorium continue, because that is now the precipitating event? it seems to me that everybody's trying to avoid being blamed for the walk-out. why not get credit for the success of continuing? >> because we cannot at gunpoint be threatened and compromise our positions. >> that's a figure of speech. you're not at gunpoint, you're sitting in talks with minister fayeed with whom you apparently had uncomfortable words and there was a walk-out between you and the palestinian leader. >> that is exaggerated. we continue to listen. there are issues here which are very, very crucial to the future of the region, the future of israel. we cannot gamble on israel's future. this is why we have to put everything in context. it's not just the issue of the
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settlement, to take to single out one issue and put it ahead of everything else is not realistic. there are other issues. >> the other argument the united states might be making, israel's future, given the demographics and population explosion on the palestinian side, israel's future really depends on using this year and by the end of the year having an agreement, not on one piece of the agreement. >> andrea, this is fair, and this is very consistent with our interest and intentions. i mean, a peace with the palestinians is first of all in israeli interests but not at the expense of our future. what we are saying -- >> quick question, since i've been hanging around diplomats so many years, what if you don't end the moratorium but just don't built, is that the compromise? >> i would say that we are very happy to meet the palestinians half way. again, it's not all or nothing. it's not one-zero, it's a
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win/win. let's work together on all the issues. we could have put so many preconditions on refugees and security arrangements and borders and jerusalem. we are not doing it. we said everything is on the table, the same thing with settlements. we could have said we will walk out if you will not agree to israel as a jewish state, and then what? then they would have said okay, the palestinians you should do t otherwise the israelis, this is not a way to conduct negotiations. >> i hope we'll be in a lot of talks, you and i and of course you and your adversaries. >> i hope so. >> and i hope new friends. >> i hope so. >> great to see you again mr. minister. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. up next the campaign to stamp out poverty by helping young women around the world. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
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gecko: uh...yeah... all right as long as we don't overdo it. vo: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. the united nations has launched a campaign to change the future for 600 million adolescent girls living in the country.
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>> imagine you're 12 again but this time one of the 600 million girls growing up in a developing country and your story might be a lot different. instead of school, you have to work. you're married at 13, get hiv by 18 and have four kids by age 20. pretty harsh, huh? but you can change this story. because you can make a difference in the lives of girls around the world. find out how at >> i just love that. eliz get goret gore created the girl up campaign and joins us now. it's great to see you and to talk about what the challenge is here. the reason we're focusing on this is if you focus on adolescent girls and focus on lifting women out of poverty, all the data proves that that is the best way to get these countries to change policies on teen pregnancies, hiv and rape in conflict zones and everything else that takes place. >> that's right, you know, the united nations foundation we're
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working hard this week at the opening of the general assembly and the big topic is the millennium development goals. we really feel like empowering girls is the way to reach every single one of those millennium development goals. we have these challenges right now, one in seven girls are still married globally before the age of 18, and if we just get them to secondary school, if we can get them healthy and educated we really feel like we can move past that. >> some of the other facts you bring to us, girls spend up to 15 hours a day just obtaining water for their villages, for their families. less than half a cent of every development dollar goes to programs for girls. there are so many gender issues here, girls make up 70% of the world's 125 million out of school youth. so educating these girls lifts the whole family. >> it does, and we find that if the girl then moves out of education, and actually is working, she puts 90% of that income back into her community, so if you want to talk about empowering and building economies, a girl is your best
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investment. >> that is the best return on investment. >> absolutely. >> it's what we see. what can americans do to relate to this, and how does the girl up campaign connect adolescence here with their counterparts in other countries? >> even though we have all of the world leaders in town i always say you don't have to be a head of state to make change. girl up is a campaign for girls by girls. we are asking every american girl just to give a simple high five, go to, use five minutes of your time and talk about issues or donate $5. sometimes we need to purchase a notebook for a girl in liberia because she's required to have it to go to school and she can't afford it. anyone can make global change especially american teen girls. >> i love this whole idea, elizabeth gore thank you. >> my pleasure. >> i thank everyone at the u.n. foundation for what you're doing. >> thank you. increased threats of terror, homeland security secretary
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new warning today at a senate hearing the threat of terror is aimed right at america's front door. straight from the hearing, homeland security secretary janet napolitano on the white house lawn. madam secretary thank you very much. you warned we're talking about smaller operations, but targeting americans and sometimes using people who were trained here and go over there and come back. >> that's right. the threat of terror remains with us. it's al qaeda, it's al qaeda inspired but the sources of terrorism have diversified. the tactics have diversified and the targets are diversified. we have to do a lot more in new and improved ways, more work with state and local law enforcement, more work with our own citizens, if they see something to say something. that's the way we make sure we protect the security of americans. >> of course we're also talking
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today about bob woodward's new book "obama's wars" hot off the presses not yet released but you've seen in the "new york times" "the washington post" a couple of the things in the book relate to your turf. in the book, president obama calls a nuclear attack a "potential game-changer" quoted in an interview "when i go down the list of things i have to worry about all the time that is at the top because that's one where you can't afford any mistakes." this was said, of course, after a drill in may involving a scenario of crude nukes in indianapolis and los angeles, nuclear material getting out. that's the president's top concern, in an interview with bob woodward. how are we protecting the homeland against that scenario, that nightmare scenario? >> right, obviously i can't comment on the woodward book. i haven't read it but i can say that with respect to nuclear, chemical, biological as well, we have a number of things in place, along with the fbi, alon
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the other members of the security apparatus, as it were, and we exercise those all the time. and -- and as we exercise, we identify places where we can improve and we make those improvements. but, of course, the best solution is not to have that at all or to have prior notice or intel that something is on its way. and then we can intervene more effectively. >> one of the other quotes from president obama's interview with bob woodward in the book is, quote, we can absorb a terrorist attack. we'll do everything we can do prevent it, but even on 9/11, even the biggest attack ever, we absorbed it and we are stronger. is that the bottom line, that inevitably, something will happen and that the united states is tough enough to absorb it and move on? >> you know, we are a very tough and resilient nation. and, of course, we want to disrupt. we want to detect. we want to prevent.
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but we cannot guarantee that something will not occur. when it does, we need to be ready to respond, to respond effectively, efficiently, and get back to the work of the country. >> there's recent polling, the "washington post" poll, that the people are loess confident that the u.s. is able to protect and prevent further attacks. how do you deal with that? the public attitude is very much a part of this. you want americans, each and every one of us, to be part of the defense of the united states. with your policies of seeing something and reporting it. but people have less confidence now than they used to have. >> well, you know, there's polls and polls. i don't want to get into that so much as the major message, which is that everybody has a role to play here. it's not -- not just the government. it's a shared responsibility. that's why, for example, we are moving resources out of washington, d.c. and across the country. that's why we've started a national program on suspicious
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activity reporting for law enforcement. that's why we've moved across the country on see something, say something, where it's been installed now in amtrak, a lot of southern states are using. the district of columbia is using it on the metro. everybody has a role to play. if you see something, say something. >> thank you so much, secretary janet napolitano. appreciate it. >> you bet. thank you. what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours? chris, there's so much going on in washington. i don't know where togolly. >> how about starting in the east wing the. >> michelle obama will start tomorrow closing the yearly gathering of kind of world leaders and thought leaders. giving a speech there. more interesting from my perspective, starting october 23rd, it was announced yesterday she'll go out on the campaign trail. illinois, wisconsin, new york, california raising money for
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democrats. she's been reluctant to do so. she still is a mom of two young girls. i can tell you democratic strategists are over the moon thrilled that she's going to be doing this. she is the more popular of the obama family, the obama couple, the obama marriage at the moment. they'll be happy to see her on the campaign trail. she has the capacity to raise significant amounts of mun sglae she's the secret weapon. in fairness, first ladies are generally more popular than presidents because they don't get associated with all of the unpleasant jobs that commanders in chief have to do. >> right. >> she really could be amazingly effective on the campaign trail, at least in the -- >> it was a very effective surrogate, by the way, during the 2008 campaign for barack obama. so i think she's good at it. i don't know that she loves doing it, but she's willing to do it, and democrats will be thrilled at that. >> i haven't gotten through all of "obama's wars" yet. i don't think that michelle obama has a place in there, but there will be some fall-out.
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we've had the larry summers res ugnashz. some of the players in this book, jim jones, richard holbrooke and some of the others, might be heading out the door. we'll have a lot of new players. and now the reporting is that rahm emanuel could be leaving by october, not waiting until after the midterm. >> you know, andrea, i heard the president a few weeks ago say that rahm would wait until after the midterms to make this decision. just knowing what i know, i knew that there's no way that's possible. the filing deadline is november 22nd. this is a race that will happen in february of next year. he has to collect a significant amount of signatures. there's a lot of legwork that goes into doing this. so i think he's got to make a decision here in the next few weeks. i think based on my reporting the decision is basically made, that he is running, barring some unforeseen circumstance. but he's got to formalize it in order to put the pieces in place to be ready. this will not be a walk-over. there are going to be a lot of people in this race. he will be one of the top candidates, if not the top candidate, but it will be no
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walk-over. this is a race that a lot of democrats have been waiting a long time for richard daly to step aside. this will not be a coronation, and he knows that. >> indeed, he does know it. if rahm knows anything, it's what the stakes are in chicago politics. thank you so much. that does it for us for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." remember, you can follow the show online and on twitter. what's coming up next, tamarin? in our next hour, president obama on the road today, pushing what some democrats are afraid to talk about before the midterms. health care reform. this has explosive allegations surface about the national security team, doubting his afghanistan strategy. lawrence o'donnell will join me live. and we'll talk about a new memoir that takes a hard look at race and her own family. my job is to listen to the needs and frustrations
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of the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel or restaurant workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. our job is to listen and find ways to help. that means working with communities. restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion independently-run claims fund to cover lost income until people impacted can get back to work. and our efforts aren't coming at tax-payer expense. i know people are wondering-- now that the well is capped, is bp gonna meet its commitments? i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. i'm gonna be here until we make this right.
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i'm tamryn hall. right now on msnbc, white house dysfunction. a new book by bob woodward claims to expose serious problems between president obama's top players in the war in afghanistan. lawrence o'donnell is with me. he'll talk about it. will it work? the president tries before the midterms to convince voters the health care law was the right thing to do six months after it became law. and check this out. wild chase. not one, not two, but three suspects take police on a cross-country pursuit in south florida. we'll show you how all of it ended. plus, they complained about their hotel room online and got kicked out. but did the hotel cross the line? we'll talk about it. and is it a bombshell that will fuel the heated debate over the war in afghanistan? today, the white house is downplaying accounts in a new book by bob woodward "obama's wars." it portrays


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